Living Well with a Bad Diagnosis - Lung Disease

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Feeling Great!

It's kind of cool and foggy here on the coastside this morning and expected to be only a high of 60 degrees today. Perfect for working in the gardens! I have to do a quick bank run then the front gardens will see me for several hours. Rather excited to do some work. Finally feeling well enough!

The orchestra rehearsal was fine but rather boring last night. String only. They were working on specific nasty passages of several pieces but those passages were not difficult for the basses. But, it was great to be back playing. I did notice lots of coughing and sneezing and got a bit nervous. I stayed in my spot at the very back of the group and tried to avoid everyone.

I am in the "so very happy" stage of recovering from a long, nasty illness. I can walk without being short of breath! I can breathe! I can sleep well at night without coughing! I can eat! I have most of my energy back! I am trying to appreciate every moment of feeling fantastic. One never knows how long it will last!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

First Steps

Yesterday was a big step forward to getting my life back. I did all the food shopping myself, hauled it into the house and put it away without being short of breath or exhausted. After running two loads of wash, hemming new white slacks and ironing several items,  I then cooked a fantastic dinner ahead of time as well as some bacon for Michael's breakfasts. He arrived home, we had a couple of hours together before I had to head next door to practice with the Irish fiddling group. It was fun but it was a long two hours. I fell into bed after I got home. What a day. Successful!

Today, I have to pick Michael up over the pass later this morning but have yet to decide whether to attack the front gardens or not. Do I have time? Maybe not. Whatever happens, I am going to the orchestra rehearsal for the first time in a month. The concert will be in early May and I have been to only one rehearsal so far. Not good. Tonight should be a lot of work.

But, I am feeling well enough to go to the rehearsal as another step back into my life. The next step will be going to rehab next week. It will be good to see all my buddies and to move my body. I am so mindful of feeling so well as it has been such a very long time since I have felt this well. Marvelous.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Feeling Fantastic!

Mom and I were together again yesterday. She collected her taxes and began a new crown process at the dentist before we had a very simple lunch together. It was a nice day. After dinner, some friends dropped by to look at British Don's M3 BMW, which is for sale. It was good to see them and the dad of their friend is coming back tonight to close the deal.

It was a very windy, cold day. I was planning to work in the front gardens today but I really don't want to be out in the wind. Not a lot of fun. So, since Michael drove Don's car home, I have to drive him over the pass to get our car this morning. While there, I am going to do the food shopping. But, what I am really looking forward to is walking across the street to an Irish fiddling rehearsal at 5:00. Another step back into my life.

It feels so very good. I am breathing so very well.

Michael's sister Anna has been dealing with issues with black flecks sometimes in her urine. She has had lots of tests and months of antibiotics. Yesterday, she had an appointment to talk about having her bladder scraped. Sounded horrible. The short of it is that she is now being scheduled for a bladder biopsy and surgery. We should know the date soon. Now, this is the family who has had a horrible year: her husband had a large brain tumor removed in January, they have had two water leaks with massive damage and just filed another claim with their homeowners insurance yesterday as they have yet another leak. She is also the person in charge of their mom.

I hope that they find a minor cause of the bleeding and they can continue on with their lovely life. This getting older stuff is rough!

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Very Happy Easter

I am feeling so much better. Almost normal. It has been a long month of that nasty cold, cough and misery. To be safe, this week is going to be quiet with just rehearsals. Rehab will begin again next week.

We texted with William yesterday as he was preparing for a concert in Canada. Safe Canada. Lovely Canada. The tour was going well with no drama. I shared the colonoscopy results and other news. We asked if he could come down for a visit after the tour is over at the end of July, I told him I had new recipes and he thought that sounded great. Homemade food always sounds so good when one is on the road.

Mom looked so festive for our Easter brunch. She bought Michael two See's Candy Chocolate Easter Eggs and a book on deviled eggs for me! I love the book and will begin making the very interesting combinations for our breakfasts.

We have celebrated Easter at the same place for three years. It is in a hotel near Stanford where Presidents and dignitaries have stayed while in town. It has a restaurant that features an outdoor, vine-covered courtyard, which is where we were this year. It was quiet and elegant and lovely.

Mom had the pasta Bolognese, Michael loved the seafood pasta and I was so happy with the smoked salmon. There was dessert involved as well: just of few bites of tiramisu, two mini cannolis, mango sorbet and a glass of berries covered in zabaglione. Oh, my goodness.

We had a nice day together. A reminder of what a lovely life we have and so grateful to have this time with my mom.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Good and Bad, Sort of

Happy Easter! I hope the Easter Bunny visited last night! We are taking mom to a fancy place for brunch this afternoon, which features their regular menu. I don't like holiday special menus as they are never as well prepared or delicious as the reason why I want to go to a specific restaurant. This will be our third year celebrating there.

I have some good news and some bad news. Well, sort of bad news not really bad news. The good news is that I am feeling so much better. My bowels settled down, I ate carefully yesterday and did not even have a rumble. I worked in the back gardens for almost three hours and could have done more. No shortness of breath, no wishing it was over, no problems. It was the best day I have had in many months.

So, now the sort of, kinda bad news. The doctor from the colonoscopy phoned while we were out but left a message. She said the report on the polyp was completed and that it was actually a pre-cancerous growth. That threw me. She had been so sure that the polyp did not appear to be cancerous.  But, thinking about that, I guess she was right after all. It was not yet cancer, thank heavens. She said that she wants to see me again in five years.

Where do we go from here? Dr. K. will have this report in her inbox on Monday then I think she will write the referral to the Lung Transplant Clinic. Then, dear reader, we will go on the big adventure together. It's been a long journey to get to this point.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Bit of a Problem

Even being very careful with my food, it's been a problem. I have a list of the "soft" foods I am to eat for a week after the procedure. Sadly, every single item is not on my regular diet. Thankfully, I have lost a lot of weight so I can gain a bit back while eating things I don't normally eat. Carbs. Almost all carbs.

For lunch yesterday, mom and I both had a short stack of pancakes. Now, I haven't had a pancake in probably 15-20 years. It was divine. Mom ate all of hers along with a side of the most delicious ham steak. I was shock. She usually doesn't eat that much. Yes, it was that good.

Throughout the day, I was having a problem of emptying my bowels. It started about every hour in the morning and worked it way to every few minutes in the late afternoon. I finally took a probiotic, hoping it would help quiet it down. I had a piece of bread for dinner.

After climbing into bed, it calmed down for the entire night. I am going for very soft simple food today to see if I can keep it from flaring up again. If it continues, I will phone the doctor on Monday. In the meantime, I am trying to not get dehydrated. Lots of fluids in.

My goal today is to start in the side of the back yard and work my way around to the other side. It needs a bit of weeding and hand clipping. Michael already cut the grass. I just want to be in the garden, in the sunshine, listening to the radio and trying to feel normal again. I'm not going to push it.

Two other goals this week are to attend the rehearsals with the Irish fiddling group on Tuesday evening and the orchestra on Wednesday evening. Trying to dip my toe back into my life.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Done!

Boy, am I ever glad that is over! It was a long day, we arrived to the offices early and they were running late. There had been a problem with someone ahead of me. Michael finally took off for a walk and to eat some late lunch. He also picked up my turkey sandwich for the ride home.

I was called in, changed into a gown, had vitals taken including an EKG, reviewed my medications twice, had 40 mgs. prednisone shot into my IV and waited. Finally, I was wheeled in, given 2 liters of oxygen, turned on my left side and watched while Fentanyl and Versed were shot into the IV. That was all I remembered before waking up in my little curtain-surrounded area. No pain. Feeling fine. I tried to get onto my feet. Whoops, that wasn't good. With help, I got dressed sitting down. Woozy.

The doctor look lovely photos of what she found:

  • Mild diverticulosis of the sigmoid colon, descending colon and ascending colon.
  • Polyp (6 mm) in the transverse colon.
  • Grade 1 internal hemorrhoids.


She told me that the polyp was very flat and soft and not at all cancerous-like. The biopsy will be in Tuesday and she will phone me with the results. The bleeding was coming from the hemorrhoids. She also commented that the diverticulosis was very, very minimal.

So far, so good.

I will be emailing this to Dr.K. this morning and will also alert her of the results on Tuesday.

We drove home, I rested for a few minutes before making some deviled eggs for Michael's breakfasts and a cauliflower casserole for my breakfasts, which he ended up having for dinner. I stuck with eating half of the turkey sandwich and will enjoy the other half this morning. I have to eat mild food for a bit to let the biopsy site heal. No nuts or anything rough. Soft bread and turkey, just perfect.

I kept reminding myself that this was good to get it done now so it does slow down the lung transplant process when it begins.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Colonoscopy Day

I drank the "stuff." Bowel prep. It was not horrible but I did fight the urge to vomit. AND, I get to do it all again at 7:15 this morning! We are both a bit worried about the 30+ minute drive to the procedure center without an accident. I just want to get the colonoscopy done. Over. Finished. There is no food or even liquids at all today until afterwards. I feel like I have lost five more pounds. Northing left in me!

My coughing has greatly lessened and I was able to sleep through the night again. Glorious! Lovely to be in my own bed! I am actually feeling better. After 24-days, this horrible illness is finally working its way out of my system. Goodbye.

We may discover the cause of the bleeding today, or not. If she finds a polyp, it will need a biopsy and that takes a few days. If she notices a problem of a fissure or internal hemorrhoid, she will be immediately able to determine that is the cause. I so hope it is just a minor problem.

While he is waiting for me, Michael is going to take his walk through the downtown area, find someplace to eat lunch and buy a simple turkey with a little mayo on a roll sandwich for me. I plan to eat it in the car on our way home. It will be my first food since Tuesday night. A reward for going through this test.

Here we go.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Prep Day

IMPROVEMENT!! I slept the entire night in bed and did not cough except once. I am getting better! I was beginning to wonder if I would ever feel better again.

Today is clean-out day for the colonoscopy tomorrow. Liquid diet all day and the clean-out will begin at 3:00. But, I have an 11:00 hair appointment so I will at least have nice hair for the procedure tomorrow! I am so ready to just get it done. The bleeding has slowed down, having had only two small drops in a week. A good sign. If cancer, the lung transplant process will be on hold. If not cancer, we will begin. Dr. K. is awaiting the report. My future depends on this test tomorrow.

So my day today will be focused on chicken broth, lemonade and ginger ale. I remember the last time, I was so hungry after the procedure that I just wanted food but they were very clear about what to eat. If too spicy or fatty food, it could cause problems. I ended up with a white roll with turkey and a touch of mayo. It was so delicious!

We watched the news in horror all day yesterday. People have been contacting us about our son to ask if he was in Belgium during the bombing. He was in Canada and there are no European concerts scheduled through July.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Taking a Fall

We had to laugh. Mom and I have the same, shallow cough that take more coughing to get the goop up and out. She also was not 100%, had little energy and worst of all, took a fall. She was working on some plants near her parking space, she was squatting on the sidewalk level and didn't realize when she move backwards that she ran out of sidewalk! She landed on her butt off the six inch ledge.

She was embarrassed. She hoped no one saw her. Her favorite maintenance guy and another friend immediately came to her aid. She thought she was fine but yesterday, her ribcage hurt. It was a hard landing. A few years ago, she cracked her left pelvis in a fall. She was now worried about her right pelvis. She remembered that it didn't hurt initially but grew overtime.

We are seeing her endocrinologist on Friday. We will tell her about the fall. If mom phones with increased pain between today and Friday, I will make sure she sees a doctor. She felt she didn't need one when we spoke yesterday.

I was not feeling great yesterday and last night was brutal. I was on the couch by 9:30 and coughed throughout the night. Not a lot of sleep. Thankfully, I am staying home today, Michael is coming home early to get a haircut and I just need to make some dinner. I am going to try to nap. My focus is on the colonoscopy on Thursday but I really am looking forward to getting my haircut tomorrow.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Mom Day

We were finished with all of our errands and ate lunch at home right at noon yesterday. I made a Joe's Special for dinner and we just had a quiet afternoon and evening together listening to the rain on the roof.

It's Monday so that means I will be spending the day with my mom. We will have lots to share. We have no appointments today and nothing we have to do. We will make our Easter plans and hopefully, I'm not too late to make reservations.

Last night, the coughing was endless. It is now a shallow cough but it takes several coughs to clear it from my lungs. Hate it. Want it to go away. Prednisone levels have been reduced to 30 mgs as of yesterday. I was still hungry all day and hoping that also goes away soon!

The colonoscopy clean out is Wednesday at 3PM, another dosage at 7:15AM on Thursday and we have to check in by 12:15 for a 1:00 procedure. I am so grateful that I don't have to wait weeks for this appointment and that the doctor's office was able to get me into an "emergency" appointment.

I realize that when I am ill with a cold or flu, the world becomes quite small. No rehearsals. No friends to meet for lunch. No rehab. The goal is to do only what is necessary and to try to recover by resting. It is dull and boring. It is not fun. I am itching to get back to my life.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sundays

Perfect day yesterday. I did some paperwork, cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out some magazines, filed, washed and ironed the bedsheets, ate leftover corned beef for lunch, opened up all the windows in the house and got caught up on my DVR titles. I was tired, not feeling great but thought I would just keep moving.

I didn't have to go out onto the couch until after 3AM this morning. The cough must be getting better. We are planning a fun day. The first Formula 1 race of the season is on that DVR and ready for us to watch this morning before we head over the pass for the trifecta: butcher, Trader Joe's and Safeway. For the first time in many years, there is an American team represented in Formula 1 this year. Haas Racing Team. Keep an eye on them.

I love our Sundays together. Just the two of us. All day. Nice.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Resolved into Coughing

The sunshine didn't appear as Michael and I made our way down the foggy coast to Santa Cruz yesterday. Whales were spotted along the way. No traffic. It felt so good to be out into the world together with no list of things we needed to do.

We found our way to our favorite dive in a converted house near the harbor. Everything was baked and made on site. We had a cup of light clam chowder then spilt a hamburger. It was more food than I had seen in weeks! The 40 mgs. of prednisone must be working as I had no problem getting most of it down! We talked about the whole lung transplant process and what, hopefully, lays ahead.

I was feeling pretty good. The coughing was minimal, prednisone was making me feel perky and the antibiotic were working.

On St. Patrick's Day, our new neighbors Lisa and Mike, had invited us over for Corned Beef and Cabbage. We had to decline but they sent over a large plate of food. It was delicious! Perfect seasoning! The cabbage was not overcooked! We wanted to return their plate yesterday but I am old-school. I always return a plate with something homemade on it though I am sure they would understand and also not really want to share my germs. So, on the way back from Santa Cruz, we stopped at our favorite place south of town, near the goat farm, and bought pieces of the best pie and fresh whipped cream to perched on the plate to take over to them.

We drove the rest of the way home, now bathed in sunshine, and dropped the treats off to Lisa. We ended up staying over there for almost a half hour. They are the nicest people, I swear! They went to the concert at the British Pub where my Irish Fiddling group was performing the night before. I so missed playing with them and felt guilty for being sick!

All was well until last night. The coughing came back with a vengeance. It just would not settle down despite all my tricks. I ended up sitting up on the couch and still...so I didn't get much sleep. It's going to be a quiet day today.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Very Touched

In my daily life, I try my best to be mindful of others, offer support and help and keep moving forward. Yesterday, it happened at my mom's bank where she met with her favorite person to discuss a problem. She loves him because of his piano fingers. As it happens, he plays the piano, listens to movie soundtracks on YouTube and plays everything by ear. He never learned how to read music. After our conversation and my recommendation, he was going to take a music theory class at the local community college. It will push his aspirations to write music for computer games forward. 

Earlier in the day, we were in the waiting room of mom's eye doctor and began a chat with a lovely lady wearing green. Her grandson arrived, sat down and joined our conversation. She was called in but he stayed with us. After simple questions, he told us he just graduated from a university. He was now an engineer and looking for a job. I mentioned the great music program at that university, he shared that he played trumpet and trombone with them plus sang with their chorus. I told him about a local chorus plus invited his trombone playing brain to our little community orchestra. We really need trombones! If he finds a job locally, I have a feeling I will be seeing him again. He entered the name of the orchestra in his phone. A good sign.

But, what brought tears to my eyes was to be on the other end of these type of conversations. I got an email from my friend Lois, who I met at the other rehab over ten years ago. We became friends. She was exercising 2.5 hours a day to fight third stage breast cancer. She was also a drug designer and involved in DNA testing in her real life. She has taught me so much about new drugs and pathways. I told her about having to have the colonoscopy next week, she offered a lot of support and information that I didn't know, which made me feel better. But, it was the final paragraph that got to me:

Your cheerfulness and ability to deal with your lung disease by proper dieting and exercise and helping other
people cope with their disease, including the doctors, has always been inspirational to me and lots of other people.  So take care, and please let me know what they find.  I am more than willing to delve into the latest research results and recommend, or disrecommend any possible treatment.

I am so blessed.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

More Drugs!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I'll be wearing a bit of the green today!

Surprisingly, I was not as exhausted as I had anticipated while I drove home from the city last evening. I arrived at mom's house early, fixed her FAX machine then met with her eye doctor before a quick lunch. From her place, I drove into the city for my meeting with Dr. K.

Hawaii. Everybody we know is in Hawaii, has just been to Hawaii or is just leaving Hawaii. It is killing me! I so wish I could fly! As I was driving on the freeway to a connector to another freeway, I had to go by the airport. Right as I was driving by, a plane took off over my head. Yes, you guessed it, a Hawaiian Airlines plane happily heading west! I laughed out loud!

Dr. K. was in a good mood! Wow! Her first statement was, "You are too thin!" Not something I have ever heard from a doctor in my whole life. I replied that I have been sick and just couldn't eat. Then, I told her I have stories to tell.

I told her about not being well during Christmas and the New Year. I told her about needing oxygen and coughing all the time. I told her about exercising in early January and feeling so much better before getting this cold on March 1st. Then, I told her about my visit with the doctor yesterday.

After sharing the plan for the colonoscopy in a week, I told her I would have a report sent to her for my files. There will be no visit to the lung transplant clinic until the issue is resolved. Everything is on hold. And, I now in a waiting mode for the colonoscopy.

My lungs. My poor lungs. She listened to them, heard nastiness in the right lung and said I also had lots of wheezing. Our attack plan: Inhalers 4x a day, prednisone increase to 40mgs then stepped down every three days, a strong antibiotic. I hope it all works and makes me feel better soon.

After dinner, Michael drove us into town to get all the drugs and also the prep for the colonoscopy.

I need to get through today's eye appointment and lunch with mom then I can take it easy for the next three days. The goal is to rest to help the medicines work.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Goal: Get Through Today

In a nutshell: I noticed a tiny bit of bleeding just about a month ago. Not everyday. Just a couple of tiny drops. After two weeks, I made an appointment with the local doctor who did my colonoscopies and finally met with her yesterday. She found a trace amount of blood in my sample.

Now, this could be several things but three years ago, I had a precancerous polyp removed during my last colonoscopy so there is some room for worry. I was going to talk about being assessed for lung transplants with Dr. K. today but this puts everything on hold until we have some answers.

Lung transplants do not happen until someone is one year cancer free. If this is cancer, this could be a huge issue. There is no cancer in the family and I am going to assume it is not cancer until we have the test results. I am having a colonoscopy next Thursday.

So, with that drama, I am still feeling horrible and coughing during the night. My gut says I have pneumonia. I am feeling so relieved to see Dr. K. today and anxious for her to listen to my lungs. But first, I have to drive mom to her eye doctor appointment this morning and once again tomorrow morning. (The appointment with Dr. K. is later this afternoon so I will be fighting rush hour traffic all the way home.) By the time Friday arrives, I will be totally exhausted. This weekend is going to be very quiet around here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Doctor This AM

Doctor #1 is this morning. I have been experiencing some bleeding and want to get it checked out. Just a few drops but almost everyday. Too much information? Nothing else is on the agenda. I cancelled all rehearsals again this week. I even cancelled the St. Pat's concert with the Irish Fiddling group.

Doctor #2 is tomorrow after mom's morning eye doctor appointment. It is going to be an exhausting day. Lots of driving and coming home in horrible rush hour traffic from the city. I am still coughing and just don't feel well. It will be good to go over everything with Dr. K.

This morning, to prepare for this all, I am going to take a long shower, paint my fingernails and fill my gas tank.

Wish I felt better.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sweet Alice

My friend Dolores emailed very sad news to me last weekend. Andrew was a kid at the school where I got sick along with Dolores' son and daughter. They were friends and the parents became close friends. All the children are launched into life and doing well.

Without any warning, Andrew's mom, Alice, had a massive stroke. The family is donating her organs. A major gift to others. She was the nicest, kindest, funniest, sweetest human. She was far too young to leave us.

The rains have ceased here for a few days. After a week of massive storms, it will be nice to let things dry out a bit. My yards are a mess, the weeds have taken over and the grass is a foot long. If I continue to recover, I may do a bit of work out there later in the week. Or not. I don't want to relapse.

I didn't get to sleep until a bit later last night then the coughing began. Around 11:30, I hauled everything out to the couch and slept sitting up most of the night. I don't feel very rested this morning. Today is the final day of antibiotics.

Mom and I are meeting today. I need to buy a couple of things (including weed killer!) before we go to lunch. I just saw the restaurant at the front of mom's complex on the news! Apparently, there was a police chase and they crashed into the front steps of the place. I'll bet she will have stories to tell!

I feel like I am dragging into Monday. Not enough sleep. Too much coughing. Too much to do.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Dreaming of Hawaii

After sleeping over 11 hours last night, I am definitely better. Today is my final dosage of antibiotics and I will be seeing Dr. K. on Wednesday. Still a bit of coughing at night but not enough to make me head to the couch. We are going to hit the trifecta this morning - butcher, Trader Joe's and Safeway - for our food for the week. I cooked a nice ham steak for Michael's breakfast this morning then cracked a couple of eggs into the scrapings. He kept making the yummy sounds. I will now take some of that ham, cut it into little pieces and add some onions and peppers and eggs and bake the mixture in muffin cups for our breakfasts for the week.

We have no other plans for the day. The rains are continuing and lots of roads in our beloved mountains are closed due to trees down so we won't be going on a Sunday drive.

Our former neighbors are in Hawaii celebrating Jay's birthday, who passed away last year. The pictures have included stunning sunsets and lots of cocktails! Ron, next door, is leaving for a month in Hawaii tomorrow. He will be escaping this stormy weather, Susan will join him in two week and his daughter, who is in law school, is also going to join him for a few days. We will keep an eye on the house for him as well as gather the mail and newspapers. So wish I could fly! I will never forget getting off the plane in Honolulu and smelling the sweet air of Hawaii. Always a breeze. Paradise!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Recovering

I think I turned a corner yesterday. It was hard to get up, shower, forced down half of a deviled egg for breakfast before driving to mom's. I was still not feeling well and had no energy but I had not been with her for a week. Michael dropped me off, we talked for a couple of hours, watched Nancy Reagan's funeral together then went to Wendy's for lunch. Michael met us there, we all chatted for a bit then we dropped mom at home before we made our way through the storm on the pass.

By this time, I realized that I had eaten their child-sized hamburger, the most food I have eaten in a week. Maybe it was being out in the world or maybe it was the food or maybe I was actually improving but I realized that I was feeling better.

Still not wanting to bother Michael with my nighttime coughing, I slept on the couch again last night but it really wasn't a problem. It was the first night in so many that I slept through the night. Marvelous.

Today, the goal is to make a shopping list for tomorrow. I am going to plan simple foods for the week and I hope my appetite comes back. I have a big week ahead. We have four doctor appointments in three days (two are for mom).

Friday, March 11, 2016

Still Coughing

I wish I felt better. I crawled home after the housekeepers left yesterday and napped for over two hours. And, the coughing is still driving me crazy at night. I slept on the couch last night to keep myself as upright as possible yet, the coughing continued throughout the night.

Mom misses our time together so Michael is dropping me off at her place for a visit this morning. We won't be going anywhere as she wants to watch Nancy Reagan's funeral. While I am with her, there will be a huge storm blowing through with high winds and a probably some trees down. Hopefully, we will be able to get home over the pass in the early afternoon.

But first, I am looking forward to a nice, hot shower. Maybe it will make me feel better!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Still Ill

I am so sorry I have been so dull and boring. We did nothing yesterday except rest. I did cook some deviled eggs for Michael breakfast but that was the extent of my day. Oh, and dinner. I made lamb patties and served them with spinach/feta stuffed quesadillas. Simple.

The housekeepers are due this morning so I need to dress and leave the house. I'm going to hang out at Peet's and read until they are finished.

I am better but far from well. I am still coughing. I am still so tired.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Phishing

There is a gentle rain this morning but expected to clear before the huge storm blows through tomorrow. It is Wednesday. It is our day together. We are going to stay in all day except for lunch.

I am feeling better, coughing less but still in need of naps. I swear I have lost a few pounds with my lack of appetite and unable to taste anything. I noticed that I could taste a bit of dinner last night so I hope it is coming back.

Years ago, when I had the Nissen Fundoplication procedure to stop fumes from GERD flowing into my lungs, something happened and I have a hernia as a result of that surgery. With all my recent coughing, I woke up this morning to pain. If it doesn't settle down, I will see a doctor.

In other news: Also this morning, I got an email from the bank where I have my Medicare Set-Aside account for specific bills as part of my Worker's Comp settlement. It was about changes to my account. WHAT?!? Instead of clicking on anything in the email, I pulled a statement and phoned that number right away. It was rather shocking to learn that it was phishing trying to get my account passwords. Please beware.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Drugs Onboard

I actually felt a bit better yesterday morning after I started moving about. It was not such a chore to make the bed or to get dressed. By 10:30, I worked my way into town to pick up our taxes and to Rite-Aid to pick up antibiotics. Doxycycline.

Later in the afternoon, I felt a surge of energy so I quickly made Pesto Chicken for dinner and had it plated and ready to go in the refrigerator. It was hilarious when Michael walked through the door at 3:00, smelled the sweet aroma of the basil and garlic pesto and looked confused as he opened the cold oven in search of the source. He loved it. I couldn't taste it. It is weird that with this cold, everything tastes wrong. When eating cheese or sliced ham, all I taste is salt. I couldn't even taste the garlic last night. My ears are clogged again.

Today, I am going to the bank and to Safeway to buy about eight items. That is the plan for the day. Nothing else other than a nap. I want the antibiotics to work their magic.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Antibiotics

I am still so sick. It is a struggle just to get dressed. I cancelled tomorrow's rehearsal and March 17th concert with the new fiddling group, will not go to the orchestra rehearsal Wednesday and cancelled the PFTs. I contacted Dr. K. and she is ordering some antibiotics for me to pick up in town.

Our taxes have been prepared and ready for pick up so I will fight the rains and grab those while I buy the antibiotics. It will be my first day out into the world since mom's doctor appointment on Friday morning. I feel a nap coming on.

I hope to feel better soon!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Recovering slowly

Yesterday afternoon through evening was just wild. There were 50MPH gusts as a huge storm blew through. Our power kept going out but we were still able to cook a meatloaf in the oven between outages. The downside: no internet. We heard lots of sirens but couldn't check our online site to tell us what was going on so close to us.

Just now, I phoned Comcast to have them reset my modem. I have my own Airport Wi-Fi system and theirs interferes with it. Whenever we lose power, I have to have them reset it and remove their Wi-Fi. Magic. I was back online in minutes.

The goal today is to take a shower, pay some bills and organize my life for next week.

I also received a notice that Medicare did not approve a December payment to the nutritionist so I will have to deal with that this week. It may be that I have been too stable and they don't feel I need him anymore.

My cough is now loose and not as often. I am feeling better each day but still not well. There are PFTs scheduled for Wednesday so it will be interesting to see those numbers. Michael is beginning to cough. So, just as I am planning to try sleeping in bed again, I think he will probably have to move out to the couch. We split so we don't keep the other one awake with the coughing throughout the night.

I have no appetite except for sugar free popsicles. Food is a chore to get into my body so I can take my medications. A bit of cheese this morning is all I could get down.

This is a very scattered blog, which is exactly how I feel! Sorry. I hope to make more sense tomorrow.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Down

Mom and I went to see her primary doctor yesterday, drove her home then drove myself home. I was done. I slept most of the afternoon and was feeling better last night. I still coughed throughout the night but did manage to get a couple hours of sleep between the coughing fits.

I am on the couch in the living room with no plans to wander further. I promised Michael that I would pull on some clothing and brush my teeth but that is as far as the deal went. I plan to sleep most of the day.

I hate being sick.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Feeling Miserable

I made it through yesterday in pretty good shape. Mom and I got our toenails painted and had a nice lunch. I was home earlier than usual and hopped into my pajamas by 4:30. We had a simple shrimp salad for dinner and I was on the couch again by 7:30.

It was a rough night. I coughed so much all that my vocal cords hurt. Mom has a doctor appointment with her primary doctor to discuss her exposure to mold and I really need to be there. So, off I am again this morning, in the rain, to get her to the early appointment. We will probably have a quick lunch afterwards then I am heading to the couch again.

The couch. That will be my home base for the weekend. If I am not better by Monday, I will contact Dr. K. for help.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Coughing

Wednesdays are usually reserved for just the two of us. Errands or lunch or a ride. Just being together. Yesterday, I began coughing during the night and I think I got a cold from mom. She thought it was allergies but nope, I am sick. It got worse as the day wore on.

We discovered several of our outdoor lighting fixtures in the front, side and back yards needed new bulbs. One even needed a new fixture. We made our way to their warehouse and bought what we needed and Michael spent the afternoon making them all work again. Afterwards, we took a tire in to have a screw removed, chatted with the butcher, enjoyed Trader Joe's, had a fantastic lunch then had a final tour of Safeway. It was a long day!

I still had an orchestra rehearsal after dinner. Michael really didn't want me to go but I had not been for two weeks, Gerry was not going to be there and I needed to read the new music. Well, I lasted for an hour. I went home, took an Aprodine and instantly fell asleep on the couch so I did not disturb Michael throughout the night.

Today, mom and I are getting our toenails done. I think we will have them done, a bit of lunch then I will drop her off early. I need to be home.

There is a huge storm due over the weekend. I am planning not to leave the house, watch movies, nap throughout the day and try to not let this cold go into pneumonia.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Pay it Forward

Both my rehab boys were waiting for me before our class yesterday. It was clear that 83-year old Dick was finally feeling better after his radiation treatments as he began to notice pretty girls again. When one walked by us, he would stop mid-word and just smile. Yes, he was back.

Then he told us a story:

He and his wife were stuck in traffic last Friday evening due to the fatal traffic accident near my home on their way to dinner at the harbor. I was worried about him as he is on oxygen, is diabetic and his wife is wheelchair bound. He needed food. I had them turn around and sent them to the place where mom and I get fish tacos after having our toes nails done.

They arrived, ordered calamari and shrimp and settled in. While they finished eating, the waitress let them know that another couple had paid their bill. Dick made his way over to their table, dragging his large green oxygen tank behind him. He thanked them then asked what made them do it. They replied that they just wanted to so something nice for someone.

He told them he had to go back to his table as his eyes were bothering him and beginning to water. He was teary. He was very touched.

After sitting back down, he said to his wife, "We have to pay this forward." And with that, they began to look around the restaurant and their attention was drawn to a young couple with a baby just arriving for dinner. "Them," he said.

He waited for them to get settled and order then called the waitress over to tell her they wanted to pay the young couple's bill. He was surprised when the young mother and baby came to their table. She told them that they had a "very difficult week" and decided to just get out and that this meant so very much to them. She had tears in her eyes as she spoke which means Dick and his wife had tears and there were hugs all around.

Turns out the first couple was there because of the accident (they were also on their way to the harbor for dinner) and Dick was there because of the accident and the young couple was there just trying to find a bit of sunshine in their lives. Funny how life works.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fiddling Around

It is a mom week. Yesterday, Thursday and Friday. She had a dentist appointment here on the coast at noon so we ran north to pick up her new glasses before heading to the sunshine on the coast. By the time we got out of the office, it was 1:30 and we were starved. She loves a new remodeled Wendy's near her place so we thought we would go there as they are quick and we were REALLY hungry. It was a surprise to walk in to see all the balloons and a group of people hanging around. I asked who they were and was told they were from the Wendy's headquarters. The owner, who works everyday, was thrilled they were there. As he was taking their photo, I asked if he wanted me to take one with him included. YES! He remembered my name and introduced to me the group. I made them smile by asking them all to say, "Cheeseburger!"

Thursday, we are getting our toes done and Friday, mom has an appointment with her primary doctor. We are worried that all the mold they discovered in her apartment may have affected her lungs. Hopefully not, but we will see.

In the meantime, I am going to rehearse with the Irish fiddling group for an hour this evening. Along with the rehab class today, I should sleep well tonight!